Chief Executive Officer Gopal Vittal said, Bharti Airtel Ltd plans to keep its 2G networks operational since they continue to fetch substantial revenue. “Airtel has no plans to shut down its 2G network as substantial revenue is coming from 2G phone users even in circles like Delhi…also older devices do not have VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) integration,” Vittal said.
Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator by revenue, is in the process of phasing out 3G to focus solely on 2G and 4G. Vodafone Idea operates 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
“2G still has a runway for next few years…we plan to shut down 3G because the revenue from 3G devices was very insignificant; so we took that call,” Vittal said.
In August this year, the company had said that it will shut down its 3G network across India’s 22 telecom circles by March 2020, and increase its focus on providing 4G services. The company started the process in July by shutting the 3G network in Kolkata, followed by the Haryana and Punjab circles. It, however, continues to provide 2G services for feature phone users.